Hollywood Sign, Los Angeles

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Lluis Enric Mayans

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  • What is the Hollywood Sign?
  • Where is it and how to get there?
  • Where to take the photos from?
  • History, curiosities and information

The famous Hollywood sign, which stands out on the hills of Los Angeles, together with the most iconic film production houses that have decided to make this city their home, has helped to make Hollywood one of the most famous places in the world.

Whether you limit yourself to photographing it from afar or you decide to go and see it up close, if you visit Los Angeles you cannot help but be admired in front of them. nine letters towering above the city.

What is the Hollywood Sign?

The Hollywood Sign and the huge Hollywood sign which is found on hills behind Los Angeles. Born as an advertising attraction, it should have stayed there only for a little over a year, instead, for more than 90 years, is the symbol of one of the most iconic cities in the world.

Where is it and how to get there?

The Hollywood Sign is located on the side of Mount Lee which faces Los Angeles, within the Griffith Park territory, which is also home to the famous Griffith Observatory.

To reach it you can choose to go by car to the Griffith Park car park and, from there, continue on foot through one of the three paths that cross Griffith Park and arrive in its vicinity.

Drive to Hollywood Sign

To get to the Hollywood Sign by car you have to drive to parcheggio del Griffith Observatory and from there continue on foot to the Hollywood Sign, which, like the Observatory, is located inside Griffith Park.

If arriving from Downtown you must take US 101 N, then continue on CA 110 N / pasadena Freeway, then take I - 5 N towards Los Feliz Boulevard.

At this point you must exit I - 5 N at Exit 141 A and continue on Los Feliz Boulevard and then on N Vermont Canyon Road to W Observatory Road. 


In this area there are two parking lots, West Observatory Road and Western Canyon (which opens August 7). In both, the cost of parking is $ 4 per hour.

As for the timetables, the car parks are also open on Mondays, the Observatory closing day, and they follow the timetable: from Monday to Friday from 12:00 to 22:00 and Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 to 22: 00.

Con il DASH Observatory

Il DASH Observatory and the shuttle dedicated to transport of visitors of the Griffith Observatory, which also allows you to reach the Hollywood Sign.

All buses belonging to this service depart from Station area of Red line of the Metro Vermont/ Sunset, with the same opening hours as the Observatory, even on the days it is closed.

The reference stop to reach the Hollywood Sign is that of Hillhurst Avenue, in Los Feliz Village, from where you can also take the shuttle back.

The cost of ticket for the DASH service it is only $ 0,50. Buses depart approximately every 20/25 minutes.

Excursions to the Hollywood Sign

Inside Griffith Park there are also three paths which allow you to reach the Hollywood Sign on foot.

Mt. Hollywood Trail

Difficulty: easy

La Mount Hollywood Trail, lunga circa 10,5 kilometers, Offers a side view of the inscription Hollywood. The two starting points of the trail are both located within Griffith Park.

The first and shorter one starts from the Griffith Observatory parking lot; it is also the busiest.

The slightly steeper and longer one starts from a road that intersects N. Vermont Canyon Road just after passing the Greek Theater.

This trail is suitable also for families with children, especially if you decide to walk it starting from the Griffith Observatory parking lot: look for the sign with the writing Charlie Turner Trailhead; that's where the journey begins.

The Mt. Hollywood Trail gently winds along the side of Mt. Hollywood overlooking Los Angeles. After a short climb, you meet the Berlin Forest; exceeded this, it starts to climb up to the meeting with an intersection.

Going right you reach the Captain's Roost viewpoint, going left you reach Dante's View. From both you can enjoy a magnificent view on the inscription.

If you decide to reach the end of the path, you will find the letters of the Hollywood Sign just above your head.

The Canyon Drive Trail

Difficulty: medium

The Canyon Drive Trail is another of the sentieri situation inside the park which allow you to get close to the Hollywood Sign.

Curiosity - The Bronson Caves that are located in the vicinity of this path are the ones that were used as the Batcave in the first Batman TV series, shot in the 60s.

The trail, about 10 and a half kilometers long, ends just behind the Hollywood Sign.

Thw Cahuenga Peak Hike

Difficulty: difficult

The third path that leads to the Hollywood Sign, the Cahuenga Peak Hike, is the most difficult to go.

From this trail, which is located in the latest addition to Griffith Park, there are wonderful views of the Hollywood Reservoir and the San Fernando Valley.

The route starts onAileen Getty Ridge Trail and also includes l’Hugh Hefner Overlook; along this path there is also the Wisdom Tree.

This also ends just above the Hollywood Sign.

Guided walk to the Hollywood Sign

If you want to be sure to choose the best path to reach, the Hollywood Sign and to fully enjoy the experience, you can always choose one guided tour to the Hollywood sign.

Book the guided walk

Where to take the photos from?

The best vantage points of the Hollywood Sign

If you don't have the time to go and see the Hollywood Sign up close, you still have the option to admire it in all its glory and take some great pictures to take away with you as a souvenir.

Here are the better observation points to take fantastic photos of theHollywood sign:

Crossroads of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue

The intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue is one of the best and most comfortable vantage points for seeing the Hollywood Sign.

Griffith Observatory

Griffith Observatory also offers wonderful views not only of the city of Los Angeles, but also of the Hollywood sign.

Mulholland Drive

Los Angeles' most famous scenic drive also has an observation point entirely dedicated to the Hollywood Sign, which is called Hollywood Bowl Overlook.

History, curiosities and information

How was this icon of the city of Los Angeles born? What mysteries lie behind the nine most famous letters in the world?

As we said, the writing should have remained there for a short time, but more than ninety years have passed since it was installed and it is still there; but why? Let's find out together.

History of the Hollywood Sign

It was the distant 1923 and the city of Los Angeles was booming.

Harry Chandler, who at the time owned the Los Angeles Times and who later became one of the largest real estate developers in the city, decided to invest a whopping 21.000 dollars to erect the inscription "H”In the hills behind Los Angeles, to promote the new residential neighborhood he was building.  

The sign, complete with lights, should have stayed there, on Mount Lee's side, only for a year and a half about.

With the advent of cinema and the rise of the city to the capital of cinema, it was no longer removed but became a symbol of Hollywood power and Los Angeles in the cinematic environment.

After a period of decay suffered in the postwar decades, in the late 70s the Hollywood Sign was brought back to the original splendor, removing the suffix -land.

Even today we can admire it in all its majesty, this set of letters that has become the symbol of Los Angeles.


Here some curious fact that maybe you didn't know yet sull’Hollywood Sign:

  • each of the original letters that made up the writing was 15,2 meters high and 9,1 wide;
  • the entire writing was covered with more than 4.000 bulbs;
  • the final part, Land, was eliminated to perform a renovation project of the writing, which was visibly ruined, promoted by the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce;
  • in 1973 the inscription was declared a heritage of historical interest;
  • in 1932 Peg Entwistle, a girl who came to Hollywood to be an actress, committed suicide throwing herself from the letter H because she had failed to become a celebrity;
  • in 1928 a man named Albert Kohe ended up by car against letter H, destroying it.


Remember that, even if you reach it on foot, you can't get close in no way to the Hollywood Sign, that is protected a gate, a sophisticated alarm system with cameras and a soldier who remains on guard 24 hours a day. 

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